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Wettest ever August may lead to increase in car accidents

01 Sep 2011

The recent extreme weather conditions in some parts of the UK, with up to 3 times the average monthly rainfall in some areas, is likely to be responsible for some of the recent motoring accidents across the country.

Many drivers know themselves from experience – and insurance companies confirm the fact - that driving accidents increase in wet weather, despite it being a regular feature in the British climate.

In wet weather, visibility decreases as the rain increases, and cars’ stopping distances increase greatly compared to dry road surfaces – a fact which can be improved upon by maintaining good tread depth on your tyres.

”Tyres are crucial to a vehicle’s performance yet many drivers do not make adequate or regular safety checks on their tyres,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation where National Tyres and Autocare is an active and founder member. “Without proper tread depth, tyres cannot cope with wet roads leading to loss of grip, longer stopping distances and an increased safety risk.”

Tyre tread depth begins to wear from the point of initial use. New tyres come with c. 8mm of tread depth, and once this wears down to 3mm, the vehicle’s stopping distance on wet roads (driving at 70mph) can be an average of 104m. Once a tyre’s tread depth wears down to the legal minimum – 1.6mm – braking distances increase dramatically to an average of 142m – a difference of 38m, or over 3 double deckers in length.*

If your tyres are approaching their legal limit, their ability to stop in wet weather is a potential cause for concern, so make sure they are fit for driving.

To get your tyres checked for free, visit any branch of National Tyres and Autocare where a fitter will carry out a tread depth check free of charge.

* Independent research carried out by AutoExpress in 2006.

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